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Andrea Mitchell Reports

News/Business. Interviews with political figures with host Andrea Mitchell. New.

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Michigan 9, Fema 8, New York 7, Sandy 7, Chris Christie 6, Atlantic City 6, Pennsylvania 5, Us 5, Hoboken 5, United States 4, Christie 4, Virginia 4, New Jersey 4, Manhattan 4, Florida 4, Ron Allen 4, Steve 3, Nbc 3, Obama 3, Long Island 3,
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  MSNBC    Andrea Mitchell Reports    News/Business. Interviews with political  
   figures with host Andrea Mitchell. New.  

    October 31, 2012
    10:00 - 11:00am PDT  

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without power. the new jersey coastline, changed forever. this hour, governor christie and president obama touring that hard-hit area. >> the jersey shore is the soul of new jersey and we're going to rebuild, but it's going to take some time and some effort and some resilience but those are all things that new jerseyans have in abundance. >> much of new york city is still crippled, subways flooded, fires still smoldering. but the governor has just announced some progress. >> limited commuter rail service on metro north and the lir will begin 2:00 p.m. today. and limited new york city subway service, supplemented by a bus, which we can give you more details on from brooklyn to manhattan will begin tomorrow. >> the exchange back in business today.
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>> and mitt romney is back on the campaign trail, in florida. >> so i believe that this is the year for us to take a different course. i will bring real change and real reform. and a president that brings us together. >> good day. i'm andrea mitchell live in washington. misery from sandy is coming along the northeast corridor with fires burning in new jersey and search and rescue operations going on. one of the hardest had hit in the state is point pleasant beach where we find nbc's ron allen who rode out the storm there and met with a beach front resident that surveyed the damage. >> that was the whole dining area. there were walls and windows, just, you know, where our to go was and our kitchen. >> there are no walls and windows now. >> amazing.
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>> and joining me now, ron allen in point pleasant beach, new jersey. ron, teresa is in still in shock when she talked to you and people throughout that area. still clearly trying to get their hearts and minds around the devastation of their town. >> exactly, andrea. it was so unexpected that the storm would be so bad. even though there were forecasts of that, but when you come here on another day like today, for example, look at where the ocean is. it's about 50 yards away from shore and as you come further up this way there was a huge sand barrier here, where we were reporting from the other day, 12 feet long, very wide to protect the town all along and right up here, further on, where we were the other day that restaurant and beach front property where we interviewed teresa. it's all completely gone. there are several feet of sand. if you keep panning in the other direction you'll see the parking
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lot is covered with sand and a building, a structure that was here, that was part of the restaurant that's been blown about 40 yards in that direction. so yes, utter devastation and people are trying to figure out what do next. up and down the coast we see people are trying to clean up. more people out and about today. schools are closed, of course. you can't get to work. but it's a huge lift to begin to start trying to put things back together again. we're also hearing that there's going to be a week or so before the power is restored. some people are concerned they've been hearing reports that the water might be turned off where they do have water because of their concerns about contamination. so again, it's going to be a long haul and people are still as you said trying to get their heads around this whole thing. andrea? >> and we've just been -- we just saw some live pictures of air force one. it has touched down in atlantic city. what do you think people there whom you talked to want to hear from the president of the united states as he tours with chris christie today? >> i think they want to hear specific things about how they're going to get help and
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how soon it's going to come. when people think about the federal government and fema and the bureaucracy i think it's daunting. people are worried it's going to be red tape and programs that are not going to essentially solve their needs in the short term. you know, the short-term needs people have here is basically to get the debris away from their homes to secure structures to make it safer. there are still thousands of people in shelters who are going to be running out of food and supplies and those kinds of places up and down the coast and further inland. power, of course, is out to 60% of the entire state. so before -- once you get those things re-established, then you can begin to start rebuilding and really getting your foot -- your feet back on the ground here. it's going to take a while. i think people are encouraged that the president is coming. it certainly shows that he's concerned about what's happened here. but as always, i think there are going to be a lot of doubts and frustrations in terms of what exactly is going to happen here soon because it's going to take a while. obviously it's going to take a while. andrea? >> ron allen, thanks so much. president obama is going to be
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returning to the campaign trail tomorrow for events in colorado, nevada and wisconsin. mitt romney has a full slate of events in florida today. here with me to discuss both presidential campaigns, how they are balancing their political needs with hurricane sandy is david gregory moderator of "meet the press." david, this has been very difficult for both campaigns, but the tragedy throughout the area is so hard to grasp. even for those of us taking a view from 30,000 feet. imagine what it is like on the ground. how -- what about the optics and the sort of practicalities of campaigning at this stage? >> i think the reality is the race has been frozen and a lot of intangibles to try to determine who benefits from that, but that's just the reality. if you're mitt romney and were counting a wave on carrying through you election day this interrupted all that no pun intended when i say wave. this has stopped things. mitt romney is back campaigning in florida today. may say something about this defensiveness in that state
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which he needs. the president is doing his job and happens to be doing his job who is romneys's biggest surrogates, one of the supporters who spent so much time being critical of president obama but not in the last few days. he has swung his phrases to such an extent people beyond new jersey have to be taking notice. this is the power of the federal government. this is a big government moment, which is not exactly in keeping with mitt romney's message about cutting government way back. folks in new jersey as ron allen said, what they need is federal money to not only clean up initially, have their needs met in the short term, but there's this question of rebuilding. it was governor christie who said we have to get the army corps of engineers in here, think about restructuring and building differently. this becomes a real infrastructure issue which is something the president has talked about on the campaign trail. >> in fact, chris christie, so critical of the president, really sharply, painfully critical in appearances, some would say went overboard.
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some republicans must be uncomfortable with how effusively he was praising the president in his interviews with brian williams and in public statements. at the same time, it's not only that mitt romney is a small government guy, it's mitt romney during the republican primary debate, when he specifically in answers criticized fema and said it should be a state and local responsibility. >> right. i think he gets also the issue we haven't had enough of frankly on the campaign trail, what's happening in our climate, what's happening in our weather patterns becoming so severe and are we as a country in terms of our physical needs being met in response to these weather patterns and what role do federal and state and local governments play in trying to fortify their defenses against storms like this. that becomes an issue. but the pure blocking and tackling between now and election day, is still about when they can get back on the campaign trail, the money is flowing into the states in terms of the ads but the question is,
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what are their models showing them in terms of early voting, in terms of projected turnout. in terms of this prospect of does romney win the popular vote because the president underperformance in some of his stronger states while the president could still win the electoral college. there's lots of scenarios here but in essence the race has been frozen and here we go, it's going to get kicked back up as soon as the president gets out of his role as president only, dealing with disaster relief. >> one more word about chris christie he runs in two years and for his constituency, being able to play with the president of the united states and be bipartisan, is not a bad calling card. it's pretty essential. >> but right. it's essential because he needs the federal government. he talked about yes, they need to cut their own state budget but they need federal money for this cleanup. there's only one entity that can provide that, that's the federal government, the president. not exactly in keeping with the small government message. >> and what could be a better and bigger symbol than the picture we see right now --
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>> of incumbency. >> the blue and white jet is iconic, it is what has helped most incumbents in their last push, you know, crossing the country, when they arrive in that plane, it's a calling card. >> we have to underline what we don't know. we are in a -- such a close race, as we get closer to election day and get something like this happening which nobody could really forecast beyond the forecast weather, the impact of it all and how it impacts our politics we simply don't know. it makes both sides very nervous because you have a race that gets frozen, some of these intangibles playing out and we'll have to see within a week. >> speaking of things we don't know, how will people react when the president hits the trail again? >> right. >> tomorrow. will there be a dissonance between what local coverage might be, admittedly these are not battleground states except for virginia which was affected and connecticut not a battleground state but connecticut the senate race
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there could turn on this, the senate candidate, candidate dan murphy base bridgeport, badly affected, pockets which will be affected in a number of these states, but in ohio, which may get some bad weather on the back end of this, what is the effect going to be there as well? >> well, we just don't know whether there's anything beyond negligible effects in terms of power and the ability to vote both early and on election day. i do think in some of the states that are going to matter so much, florida or ohio, we see results that have already sort of taken effect, sort of baked in if you will, and i don't know that that's going to affect the final push in terms of what may be decisive. i think the tone will change a little bit, but you know, you and i living in d.c., if we both have our power, i assume we do, we're still seeing all of the ads as normal in virginia. a lot of that messaging continues, but i think the -- some of the tone on the trail changes just a little bit. but once we get into that final
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weekend and that final push, they're become to trying to, you know, get their folks out and that's going to be the most important thing. >> one other quick note as we watch the president, the wheels, the stairs wheeling up from the atlantic city airport, one other note in ohio is the auto issue and this ferocious point/counter-point we've seen now, unusual spectacle of the heads of general motors and chrysler rebutting campaign ads. >> right. >> from the romney campaign. they can say the first ad at least was literally true in the careful way it was wording, but it still got a pants on fire for being inaccurate. the general impact of that advertisement certainly was suggesting that jobs were going to be literally moved from ohio, jeep jobs, to china and that was not -- >> which the company denies. i've talked to obama advisors this morning who say, a, that would be a much bigger story, if not for the sandy coverage and
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that would be quite detrimental to the romney campaign. b, they wouldn't be running those ads in the first place if they didn't feel they were coming from behind there. there's no question the auto issue is important. interviewing governor kasic on "meet the press" said i would never side with somebody who wasn't a strong auto guy and didn't believe in supporting the companies. i think they understand that it's been an uphill climb in ohio. the romney campaign does. they like to think they're a lot closer here, but winning the balance of these auto workers, particularly in that auto belt, is going to become very important. what strikes me and again talking to the obama folks, their level of optimism is about this idea that they felt that romney plateaued too low. and that they're still competitive in so many of the battleground states, either ahead or tied that there's just not enough room for romney to come back. as you well know, both sides are arguing their case for why they have certain advantages going into election day. what we know is how close it is.
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and so there's much that we can't know or really say at this point. >> and there's word even from some democrats in michigan that i know the obama campaign says michigan is not in play but some democrats on the ground in michigan telling us, telling me, that it is closep. a lot closer than their xlfrts zo comfort zone and pennsylvania is not perhaps in play but closer than they expected to be. the senate candidate not doing as well as expected given his registration advantage. really risks for the casey campaign with -- up against ap candidate who is from the west which is normally a casey stronghold. so there are a number of places that are a lot closer than the comfort zone for the obama team, despite their very scientifically based huge and we see now the president coming down the steps. >> in casual attire, he will be seen and the picture right
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there -- >> craig fugate, head of fema, and being greeted -- >> by governor christie. >> this is not a moment, within a week, the president of the united states and governor christie arm in arm on the job together, working hand and glove here to help the people of new jersey, a day after this outspoken critic of president obama has now effusively praised his leadership and that of the entire federal government in an hour of such incredible need for the residents of his state and now they will -- they will go together to survey the damage on marine one. pictures all the campaign wants here from president obama. >> that picture is just rema remarkable because i mean he was the keynoter and now some criticize the keynote address about not being effusive enough about mitt romney but he was the keynoter and boarding marine one. we'll all be watching your coverage, "meet the press," and your major role on election night on nbc and everything else that you're doing. thank you. >> thank you.
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>> and next we are live in hoboken new jersey, half the city under water.
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and the aerial view showing the devastation in hoboken. we see the president now coming off of air force one, just moments ago, and being greeted by chris christie, the governor of new jersey, who, of course, was one of the chief surrogates for mitt romney, now with craig fugate of fema, and the president of the united states, walking towards marine one. this was moments ago. we showed you live and now they are preparing, of course, as we
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see they were boarding marine one, preparing to take the aerial tour leading from atlantic city and going up the coast. meanwhile, further north we see the aerial view showing the devastation in hoboken, new jersey, where national guard troops have arrived to help evacuate thousands still trapped in their homes. it is especially treacherous because of live downed power lines dangling in the floodwaters. nbc's katie tur is in hoboken, new jersey. what is the hope -- look behind you, the first i'm seeing of this picture, it is devastating. what are you hearing from the rescue -- the rescue and relief forces there? >> well, they said at one point this town was as much as 50% under water. the water has gone down a lot. 500,000 gallons they need to pump out and that will take not one day but probably two days. we're seeing right here is this big red truck an then this big semi, those are all supplies. the town, president mayor here,
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has begged for supplies. there are a lot of people that are not going to be leaving their homes because the water is not extremely high, but there's still people that need food and water and other resources so they're all going to get that pretty soon. but for the most part, people have been here stuck in their homes since monday evening. that's more than 24 hours. now they're just starting to be able to come out. you can't quite see we're a little far away but there has been a steady stream of people walking down this street right here with luggage and suitcases getting out of here. this is the first time they've been able to leave. if they're not leaving, they're coming back with supplies. over in the next town over in jersey city there is a target open that's pretty much the only thing open over there. you see people coming back with whatever groceries the he cy ie find. they still don't have power. no idea when that's going to go up. the main issue is the water. you said there are live wires. that's right. there's a lot of sewage and contaminants in this water.
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if you stay still you can see there's a lot of heating oil and gasoline and fuel here. you see the sheen on the water right here. the way it discolors. that's what the mayor here is super concerned about. she doesn't want people walking in this water. unfortunately, you see people doing just that because they want to get out. they don't have boots and in lieu of boots they're tying garbage bags around their shins. we're getting out of the way of this truck because he has to get in there. again, there are still a number of people who will be staying in their homes here and waiting for some relief right now. the water has gone down, though, but andrea, it will take about two days to get all of it out. the city is one square mile and below sea level so it's definitely not easy to get this much water out of here. >> and according to our estimates, the estimates we were given, 500 million gallons of water needed to be pumped out and only 75 million gallons a day could be pumped so they've got a ways to go. and as you pointed out i heard
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you reporting last night, that just the smell of gasoline is enough to tell you, of all the contaminants that must be in that water, katie. >> that was in little ferry and that wasn't that strong. over here was so strong it will give you a headache. people in their houses could not open their windows because it was so strong. you couldn't go out. they were trying at one point to grill some food yesterday, all the stuff that was going to go bad on their balconies but you couldn't stay outside too long with your kids because it really smells so awful outside here. the wind has picked up a little bit now so it's getting some of it out of here. yeah, the smell of gasoline is not something you want to be breathing in for two days straight. >> and nor you, katie. katie tur, thanks so much for reporting from hoboken. and new jersey senator bob men denness joins me by phone at the airport in atlantic city waiting for the the's arrival. well, what can you tell us, what do you want to hear from the president of the united states today?
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>> well, andrea, after having been in hoboken and little ferry and moonachi and in the atlantic city region i want to hear we're going to have a robust federal response, it's going to be streamlined, we're going to get the bureaucracy out of the system and relief to people as quickly as possible. i think the president's committed to that. that's what the governor seems to have indicated. i was chatting with him a few minutes ago. but, you know, we have a series of [ inaudible ] and we're hoping the president will respond to them and i'm sure he will. >> the president is planning to resume campaigning tomorrow. will that upset people in new jersey who are still coping with the immediate aftermath of the storm? >> well, i think the president's going to continue to make sure he engages, monitors the process, at the same time that he campaigns. his opponent is back out there campaigning already, only a few days before the election. he's taken off a series of days,
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you know, commanded the process to make sure that the federal government's response was extensive as possible, that we prepositioned assets from fema, search and rescue teams, national guard deployments and so i think people understand and most of all, as long as they continue to see a response, that's going to be the most important thing to them. >> senator, we are looking at some live aerial shots from wnbc's helicopter right now. even though the forecasting was dead on accurate, the devastation has been far worse than many had imagined. just looking at these pictures, do we have to rethink how the reconstruction handles, whether it's climate change or other changes in weather patterns, that have made that -- the need for a seawall, the need for reconstruction, perhaps along the jersey shore to be thought of differently, thought of the way new orleans thinks of it? >> well, i think it's a moment
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to take advantage and take stock and learn and respond to be more effectively in the future. you know, i heard the governor talk about the army corps of engineers had built a sand dune at a certain part of the shore area that actually made a huge difference. we might have to look at extending the length of those dunes in critical areas. we've got to look in places like up in northern new jersey where they didn't expect, you know, any levee to breach based on the forecast and then you had, you know, storm surge that ultimately breached it. i think in a different context after september 11th we talked about thinking about national security in a different context, having learned how terrorists could use a normal instrument like, you know, a letter laced, you know, with potential poison on it or when they use an airplane to crash into the world trade center, we have to think in this context what mother
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nature's capable of and think outside of the box and think ahead and prepare for it. that's the best way we can protect our people. >> senator robert mendez, from new jersey, thank you for taking time from the tour and being with the president there in atlantic city, to call in. thank you, sir. >> thank you, andrea. >> and coming up, a look at how tight this presidential race is in some key states. but first, we're learning more about the harrowing stories during the storm, including julia alamony, pregnant in labor had to be carried down eight flights of stairs after new york university medical flooded and lost power. >> just close my eyes, breathing. >> i was holding a cell phone above, above her, while they were putting in the iv and epidural. what if there was a new way to deal with money
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critical state of florida today after his three-day break during hurricane sandy. the president's campaigning is still on hold until tomorrow. while as you know he tours the jersey shore today with chris christie. and joining me now is jen psaki traveling press secretary for the obama campaign. thanks so very much. >> thank you for having me. >> this has changed everybody's calculus as david gregory and i were discussing, things were frozen in place because of the storm understandably. how do you make up for the time you have lost campaigning? >> well, you can never, you know, factor in mother nature. she's always unpredictable. the president's been doing over the last couple days what people elected him to do which is to serve as the commander in chief and manage the country in a a state of crisis. in this case it's hurricane sandy. now, there are two realities going on. the president will remain focused, day in and day out on making sure people have the information and resources they need across the country in places where the storm has impacted them, but we're also six days out from an election so he'll be back out on the trail
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tomorrow. i expect his schedule and remarks will reflect that balance. >> detroit news poll showing a very, very tight race there in michigan. that isn't in your calculations. you all have been assuming that michigan was safe territory. now you have 47.7, 48 to 45, in michigan and i'm told by democrats, that michigan is a lot tighter than they feel comfortable. >> well, we still feel absolutely confident that michigan is going to be in the democratic column come next tuesday. >> if it isn't, you can't win. >> well, if it isn't, david axelrod has said he would shave his mustache. look, we have a volunteer organization there, we have people on the ground there, we are fighting for every vote because we take nothing for granted. at the same time, this is a state where mitt romney has never led in a poll, they don't have a ground operation on the ground, and we have every confidence we're going to win next tuesday. >> it's one of his home states, his father was the governor there. >> he also says he wants to let
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go bankrupt and no friend of the american auto industry whiz a major employer. >> let's say that's that was a headline writer of a column he wrote, let detroit go bankrupt. he claims his approach to detroit and the auto industry was a managed leveraged buyout with private investment you all claim had no been available. >> not even bain his own company was willing to do that. that wasn't a realty. that was a possibility. that's why the government had to make the unpopular political choice to save the auto industry. one in eight jobs in ohio today are reliability on the auto industry and the american auto industry is thriving. >> is new mexico in play if you have the super pac restore our future. >> we were happy for them to spend money but there's no way that's in play and no way it's not going to be democratic. >> popular republican governor susana martinez. >> the president has strong support across the state not
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only from the latino community but people across the state. >> finally pennsylvania, there's a lot of talk out of pennsylvania that senator bob casey is in some difficulty, that pennsylvania is closer than it should be from a democratic perspective. >> for any of these states mitt romney has been trying to compete in ohio, trying to -- it's been hard nut for that campaign to crack. they haven't been able to. now they're playing this bluffing game of trying to expand the math. our belief is the math is set. same states we've been talking about. no way i will dye my hair black and wear a fake mustache if they win pennsylvania, michigan or new mexico. these are not states we're concerned about. of course we're on the ground, competing for every vote but this is a bluff by the romney team. >> we've got a jen psaki and david axelrod bet. this will be interesting. >> it will be. >> you're watching live pictures of staten island as you can see quite a change there as well
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from this storm. and we'll be right back. loating? yeah. one phillips' colon health probiotic cap each day >> question t these digestive iss with three strains of good bacteria. approved! [ phillips' lady ] live the regular life. phillips'. prego?! but i've bought ragu for years. [ thinking ] wonder what other questionable choices i've made? i choose date number 2! whooo! [ sigh of relief ] [ male announcer ] choose taste. choose prego.
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and welcome back. those are live pictures of staten island. again, an unbelievable damage in staten island, new york. the damage from sandy is going to cost untold billions of dollars and change the landscape of at least a 45-mile stretch of the jersey shore as well as other areas. the costs are even greater in terms of the life and culture of an iconic part of america. that is never quite going to be the same. nbc news special correspondent tom brokaw joins me from new york. we've seen storms before. you have experienced them close at hand, but this does have the feel of a life-changing event for an even larger part of the country than that directly affected. >> i expect it will be, and, in fact it should be. we have an aging urban infrastructure, we have a very perilous atlantic seaboard as we've been seeing with these
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series of ever larger and destructive storms we have to think through about how we want to build the lower part of manhattan and what's going to happen to development along the eastern seaboard all the way from the carolinas north into connecticut, whether you can have homes that are right on the surf line in effect. or whether we're going to have to have what they used to have in the past, was for big barrier reefs and other kinds of protective areas between the surf and where the homes were. i get why people would want to live right on the sea. that's understandable. i lived on the ocean in california and there's nothing quite like it. but now because of climate change and let's be clear about this, we have climate change under way, global warming, that's another question that we should be addressing as well, a vast majority of the meteorologists and scientists in the country and in the world who study these kinds of events, have concluded that there is global warming and obviously we do have climate change. so we have to plan for the future based on these realities,
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andrea, and this is a huge wake-up call. >> it's a huge wake-up call as an october surprise if you will in the middle of the campaign where these issues have not been discussed. >> yeah. and i don't know what the effect of all that is going to be. quite honestly the states that were most affected were most of the attention is being in focus is connecticut, new york, and new jersey. those are states that were safely in the president's column. how -- what the ripp effect is out to ohio and colorado, down to virginia which did take a hammering as well, it's very hard to know at this point because as you know, better than anyone, with six days to go, a lot more can happen that we cannot foresee at this time. i'm interested in what's going on in ohio at the moment with the automakers pushing back against the romney ad saying that the president didn't --
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shipping car manufacturing overseas, will that have a big impact? it probably will have some impact on that state which is so closely tied to the industry. so at the moment having talked to both campaigns extensively, they're both saying that they're confident but at the end of the conversation you do have the feeling it's jump ball. we don't know who's going to win or sure come tuesday. >> what really strikes me in talking to the two campaigns is that the obama campaign has this incredibly, you know, poll data, scientific approach, and the romney folks seem to have a lot of excitement and enthusiasm which is what you would expect from a challenger but he seems to have really built that up in at least post-debate. and it was frozen in place during this hurricane and now we have to see whether there's enough time. now it is a turnout issue. >> they both have well defined constituencies. governor romney has even though a lot of conservatives are not entirely comfortable with him,
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people who are eager to fire president obama as the chief executive of the united states. i just heard a few moments ago from a source within the tea party who is saying, look, in the tea party we're much more effective and much more highly motivated in the get out the vote efforts we're making in ohio and virginia and other places than the paid get out the vote operatives of the democratic party. now whether that holds up or not i don't know, but i know that the tea party is highly motivated during this. i've reduced it to this. romney is counting on a wave and the obama people are counting on a ground game. they have a sophisticated operation, they will be in touch of every voter they've identified who should be going to the polls for them but very often there is a difference in the attitude of a voter once he or she leaves the door or puts down the phone and gets into the voting booth during a time of such enormous kidissatisfaction
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with the direction of the country and the kind of unhappiness with the way things are going. president obama has caught up in that regard to a large degree, but there are still gaps to be closed in my judgment, andrea. my guess is it's going to be very, very close but it could all turn around on tuesday and go one way or the other for either candidate. >> indeed. you cannot count for human nature. they are the voters. we're talking about real people and millions of them, hundreds of millions of them. thank you so much, tom brokaw. >> all right, andrea. >> thank you. indeed. you should. >> and new york city mass transit expected to start moving again in just over an hour. we'll be live in manhattan. first in staten island a dramatic scene. the nypd was called in to rescue people trapped on their rooftops by rising water. five adults and one child were saved from their home. [ male announcer ] do you have the legal protection you need?
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traveling in and out of the northeast is just a mess. jfk and newark liberty airport reopened for limited flights. damage still being affected at laguardia. 19,500 flights were canceled because of the storm. 7,074 flights were canceled tuesday, 2801 flights canceled today. many new yorkers are still stranded. some without power or water, some subway stations from maine under water. the weather channel's jim canner to joins me from outside one of those submerged subway stage. how is it looking in new york? >> yeah, andrea. this is awful. this is the south berry subway station here. you get off the staten island ferry and some would walk through here and take the train uptown or as far as the bronx if you so choose. the problem is there's 30 to 40
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feet of what we call brackish water had in there, which is kind of a mixture of fresh water and seawater and diesel fuel. i was down there earlier, we took some picks down there, and i'm telling you, after about 30 or 40 seconds your eyes are burning, your nostrils are burning. you can't breathe down there. it is awful. so the army corps of engineers is here and hoping to pump this out and it's going to take a couple days. i mean 30 to 40 feet deep and it goes all the way up to the next station. all right. this is the worst station that we understand here in lower part of manhattan in terms of water infiltration. we talked about the tunnels that are still infiltrated, midtown, battery and holland, creating traffic snarls around. people are making it around but the bridges are going to clog up in a situation like this. on a positive note the metro north, long island railroad will be on-line at 2:00 this afternoon and we expect limited service even to the subway as we go to tomorrow.
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but a station like this and the situation that it's in, is going to have to be pumped out, electronics will have to be tested before it can be back on-line, so really there's no timetable for this area. but to get the bulk of uptown and midtown started up again and maybe close to full operation by monday, that's got to give new yorkers a positive reading because you know as well as i do, five 5 to 6 million people per day use this subway and train system to get around and to take that out of the loop, is a huge pitfall. >> there are also tunnels, of course, affected for amtrak, for the trains in and out of new york city. >> right. >> so those all have to be checked and they have to obviously check the wiring and all the signal systems before they can let anything move again. >> yeah. and once you get, you know, saltwater and electronics don't mix. i mean it's not as easy as going down there and spraying it off. because, you know, once you get saltwater in there, it typically ruins electronics. i've seen automobiles that have been in river flooding that have come out, been able to dry out
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the electronics and the equipment and actually it works again. when the power windows work. but you get saltwater in there and typically that's the end of the vehicle. and if those kind of electronics which many of them are old exist down through here they're going to have to be replaced and you start adding time on the timetable. the majority of uptown and midtown, again, getting on back line -- back on line tomorrow and hopefully up to full operation by the time monday rolls around. that's a good thing. back to you. >> thanks so much, jim canner to there. and next, coming up, new york congressman steve israel, touring the damage in his district on long island. ♪ [ male announcer ] why do more emergency workers everywhere trust duracell...?? duralock power preserve. locks in power for up to 10 years in storage. now...guaranteed. duracell with duralock. trusted everywhere.
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national guard and the navy assisting in new york's recovery. how long is the road ahead? joining me now from new york, congressman steve israel whose district is a large portion of
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long island. very badly affected, clearly by the storm. congressman, thanks so much. >> sure. >> what have you seen so far and what help are you getting that you need from the military? >> well, we have gone from a flood and wind emergency to a long-term power emergency. 90% of long island is without power. our utility is saying it could be longer than ten days to restore much of it. there's 25,000 separate damage locations to power lines to put that in perspective hurricane irene last was 13,000. double the damaged and down power lines. we have utility crews to restore power but in many cases we don't have enough crews who can remove trees and debris. you can hardly drive anywhere on long island without having to detour because a tree is down against a power line. now, the federal government has something called the national
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forest service. we need the national forest service with personnel and with chain saws to deploy to long island to help remove the downed trees, the debris, get the power lines back up and the electricity flowing. this is a public safety emergency. it's a public health emergency. it's all related to power. and so, we now need to move from search and rescue mission to a power restoration mission. >> have you called fema? have you called other officials to try to get other help as you described? >> i have. i just left a meeting at the federal staging area at republic airport and there's a national forest service representative there. they actually have crews from the national forest service they have been september to long island. they're waiting for the order to go out with a chain saw and with the woodchipers and engage in this removal of debris and cut down these trees that have damaged power lines. and so the order needs to be
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given. i had a conversation just yesterday with secretary napolitano and fema administrator and told them to expedite the order to get the crews in to do the removal of debris. >> the president said he wanted to make sure to get rid of red tape so are you still encounters red tape? >> up until now most federal resources have been on a search and rescue mission and that's what should have happened. the first obligation of the federal government is to save lives and make sure everybody's accounted for. as that phase windes down, the second phase in my view is restoration of power and based on the briefing i received today there needs to be a focus on that. i have called on the secretary of homeland security, the administrator of fema and others to focus on that. >> congressman steve israel, thank you so very much. good luck to the people in your district as you continue your tour. >> thank you. >> that does it for us. my colleague tamron hall has a
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look at what's next. hi, tamron. >> hi, andrea. we are following breaking news. president obama is now in new jersey, touring firsthand the damage caused by sandy. with govern or the chris christie. the president is expected to start the ground tour within the hour and bring you details. nbc's first read team says don't be surprised if the losing side whoever it turns out to be ends up blaming sandy as a result. well, the president will return to the campaign trail. we'll talk with a presidential historian regarding how the disaster affected the president's plan of attack moving ahead. also, why the head leans read ohio working class voters could be the key to president obama's re-election. ♪
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hi, everyone. i'm tamron hall. following big, breaking news on the grnd